Hosting Performance Contest – May 2016 Roundup (9 Hosts On The Radar)

hosting performance contest May 2016
Here’s the fourth Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for May 2016!
I’ve been testing 9 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and will show you the results now.

By the way, you can find the latest roundups here and the performance tables and charts here.

This time I’ve added two more hosts. One of them is very-well known InMotionHosting and the other one is also well-marketed host – A2Hosting which advertises itself as the fastest hosting. Both of the newcomers are good competitors for the rest of the gang. Let’s see if they can push out the leaders of the Contest and take their place!
 

Common Information


As you may already know, I’ve been monitoring the performance of some of the best hosting providers I know as well as some other well-known hosts.

In short, since 2013 I’ve been picking out great hosts judging by real users reviews, professional hosting community opinion, long honorable business experience and other factors which make a great hosting.

And I buy anonymously hosting accounts with some of these hosts in order to closely monitor their performance (basically, uptime checked every minute and full page load time checked every 15 minutes) using a professional monitoring service monitis.com. I buy the most basic plan of each hosting. You can read about my monitoring methodology here.

And I’m happy to share these statistics with you so that you could see how these hosts perform and who is the best from the best!

You can find some real-time performance charts on my recommended hosts page for the hosting which I’ve been recommending and monitoring.

Also, you can see real-time monitoring charts for all hosts that I am monitoring on this page. In addition, the page contains monthly historical data on hosting performance (speed, uptime, satisfactory apdex) – very interesting and useful.

Besides, you may read more information about this Hosting Performance Contest on this page. I will be adding monthly and yearly Contest results on the page too.

And other monthly Hosting Performance Contest roundups are available from here.

By the way, here’s a disclosure: There are some affiliate links on this page. In other words, I get paid if you click on the links and make a purchase. All such links open in new window/tab; no software/program will be installed to your computer. (This is a standard notice required by hosting companies.)

 

May 2016 Hosting Performance Contest – Results

I’ve been monitoring 9 hosting this month. Some of them are very affordable and some of them are a bit more pricey:

Before all, I will give you the general results of the Contest in which you can see the ultimate leaders regardless of the pricing:

winner cup - hosting performance contest Roundup May 2016And the winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage! (By the way, the second month in a row!)
And pretty close to the winner go A2Hosting and Squidix.
Not far from them goes less expensive host HawkHost with great results too.

Average full page load time of GeekStorage (the winner) was 0.92 seconds (it’s very fast). Uptime was 100% (no words, perfect!). And Satisfactory Apdex was 99.96% (i.e. 99.96% of time the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds – it’s very good). All these parameters are brilliant and much above the benchmarks specified for the great performance. And for being the fastest host among the hosting which exceeded the benchmarks for the great hosts GeekStorage wins the gold.

Pretty close the the winner but little behind in speed comes A2Hosting. It’s a newcomer in the Contest and it’s a superb entrance with a silver medal!

In May 2016 A2Hosting was on average as fast as 0.99 seconds that is just 0.07 seconds slower than GeekStorage.
A2Hosting‘s uptime was 99.96% which is great.
Its Satisfactory Apdex was 99.91% (i.e. 99.91% of all time full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). It’s pretty close to the winner and very good performance! The reason why I don’t recommend or review this host yet is that it’s is a newcomer in my Contest and I want to have proved records for a couple of months.

The bronze medalist is Squidix. It’s a good host which is in the same pricing range as the leaders, so its solid third place is no surprise.

Squidix performed in May 2016 as fast as 1.1 seconds which is close to the leaders. Its uptime was very sweet 99.97% which is much above the highest standards. And the Satisfactory Apdex was 99.75% (99.75% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds). It’s also pretty much above the standards for best hosting.

HawkHost has shown very good performance: speed (just 1.28 seconds), superb uptime (99.98%) and Satisfactory Apdex (99.82%), which are all much above the highest standards. In general standings this hosting took the 4th place.

And I’d like to emphasize HawkHost which performed very well. Although it’s a more affordable host than the leaders, it could compete on par with them and it has become a very solid winner in its budget pricing category (see further in this article for more information).

Other monitored hosts in this month did not meet the highest standards which are set to cut off the greatest hosts from good ones and others. These harsh rules allow to feature in the Contest the hosts which perform the best of the best.

InMotionHosting has nearly took the gold in this Contest because it was the fastest in this month (0.83 seconds). But its uptime (99.89%) was just a little bit below the benchmark (99.9%). Very sad for this host, but rules are rules. Its Satisfactory Apdex was very good (99.51% of time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds). This host is a newcomer in this Contest, and in future it has good potential to win prizes in this Hosting Performance Contest. InMotionHosting takes the 5th position in this month’s general standings.

Another host which sadly failed in uptime is Veerotech. Its uptime was 99.78% which is a little below the highest standards (99.9%). Although its speed was very good (1.27 seconds) which is faster than some of the better ranking hosts, it takes the 6th position in the general standings in this Contest. Its Satisfactory Apdex (98.41%) was good but a little below the requirements for the greatest hosts. By the way, the second VeeroTech account (VeeroTech-2 on the screenshot in the section below) I’m monitoring has shown nearly the same uptime.

After all, with a bit higher uptime Veerotech has all chances to win prizes in the Contest.

Not far behind it goes StableHost. Being just a bit slower (1.49 seconds) this is still a fantastic results for this affordable hosting. And its uptime (99.97%) is very high, but its Satisfactory Apdex (98.31%) was a bit below the benchmark which is set to determine the greatest hosting. StableHost took the 7th place in general standings in this month, but this is very good position considering the competitors.

Not far behind from a speed point of view goes Eleven2. it was pretty fast (1.54 seconds). And its Satisfactory Apdex was good (99.13% of all time in this month it was faster than 2.5 seconds). But its uptime (99.76%) did not meet the highest standards (99.9%). So it goes only to the 8th place in the general standings.

And the last participant – GlowHost. Although its uptime was really good (99.98%), its speed was not – 2.4 seconds is the slowest in this Contest and its Satisfactory Apdex (84.27%) was below the highest standards (90% of the time the host should be faster than 2.5 seconds). The last place is for this host.

After all, it was an interesting competition!

Let’s see the results in tables and charts for more convenience and some more notes.

Here’s a table view to compare the Hosting Performance Contest results in May 2016:


Table column notes:
Place: The place a hosting has won in this Contest (the less the better).
Load Time: Average Full Page Load Time (the less the better). Checked every 15 minutes.
Uptime: Uptime (the more the better). Checked every minute.
Uptime OK: If Uptime Benchmark (99.9%) passed (YES is very good, NO is not very good).
Apdex-S: Satisfactory Apdex, i.e. how often a test website on a tested hosting was loading faster than 2.5 sec (the more the Apdex-S the better). Checked every 15 minutes.
Apdex-S OK: If Satisfactory Apdex benchmark (99%) passed (YES is very good, NO is not very good).

Here’s a table with hosting prices:


1 year: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 1-year plan.
2 years: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 2-year plan.
3 years: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 3-year plan.
Min Price: The minimum price officially available for the first invoice (can be for 1-year, 2-year or 3-year plan).
*StableHost discount code is given in my review.
Limited-time offers with more discounts are not included in these prices. Check out if there are special offers currently available by visiting the hosting websites.
Worthy: This column contains my recommended hosts. (Under review label means that the host is a newcomer which performs not bad or has potential in winning prizes in the Contest and I want to have proved records of its performance for a couple of months.)

Here’s a table with places within pricing categories:

Since it’s not always correct to compare hosts from different price categories together, I’ve broken down the monitored hosts into two categories to compete within. The first category includes budget hosts which cost less than $5/mo for 1-year hosting plan, and the seconds category contains more expensive hosts.

The prices presented in this table are regular prices (i.e. applied after the first invoice). Note that prices for the first invoice (1-,2- or 3-year plan) are usually less (see them in the previous table). And special promo prices are not included (check them out on the hosting websites).

And here are the charts with the Hosting Performance Contest results in May 2016:

 

 

 

May 2016 Hosting Performance Contest Results – Notes


I use monitis.com services for uptime and full page load monitoring. The monitoring is performed from two locations in order to decrease chances of false alerts and make monitoring results more objective. You can read more about my methodology of monitoring here.

Here are the monthly monitoring reports screenshots:

hosting performance contest May 2016 - uptime monitoring report

These monitor checks are performed with 1-minute interval, which makes it great for detecting website uptime and downtime.

So, we need Uptime values from this table for finding the winner of our Contest.
By the way, downtime is detected if server response time (time-to-first-byte) is more than 10 seconds.

Other values (just for information):
Response time is not that important for this Contest, because I’ve got a better indicator monitored, which is Full page load time (see below).
Number of failures may be interesting to look at, but this is just an additional information to Uptime, which is more important for the overall hosting evaluation.

The first six of the nine hosts on the screenshot have passed the uptime benchmark test for great hosting. They were up more than 99.9% in May. Websites on other three hosting accounts were not available for more than 44.6 minutes in total in this month.

GeekStorage was simply perfect with 100% uptime.

A2Hosting had great uptime 99.96%. Only 0.04% of the time (17.9 minutes) it was not available in May.

Squidix had also very high uptime (99.97%). The site on this hosting was not available 0.03% of the time in May (13.4 minutes).

HawkHost was great with 99.98% uptime. It was not available for 0.02% of the May time (8.9 minutes).

InMotionHosting could not make it to go beyond the benchmark. The host had 99.89% uptime (0.11% or 49.1 minutes being not available).

VeeroTech with 99.78% was not brilliant. But in general it’s good for a budget host. It was not available 0.22% (1.6 hours) in May.

StableHost had 99.97% uptime. It makes 0.03% (13.4 minutes) when the site on this host was not available.

Eleven2 greatly improved its uptime compared to the previous month. But still did not get to the green zone above 99.9%. My website on this host was up 99.76%, which means my website on this host was down 0.24% of the time in this month (equal to 1.8 hours).

GlowHost had great uptime (99.98%). It was not available 0.02% of the time (8.9 minutes). If this host had been faster, it could compete for the Prize in this Hosting Performance Contest.

hosting performance contest May 2016 - full page load monitoring report


These tests are performed with 15-minute interval. It makes it a perfect real-user performance monitor. This monitor’s activity is equal to 192 unique visitors per day (about 5,760 unique visitors per month).

Avg Test Duration is the Full page load time, which is very clear and important factor for the Hosting Performance Contest.

We don’t need Uptime from this table because we have got a better (more precise) Uptime indicator from the previous table.

Also, we don’t need Failures from this table, because it’s less precise than the same indicator from the previous table.

But we will need Apdex, particularly its S (Satisfactory) part. This shows how much time (in %) the website loaded faster than 2.5 seconds. I call it Satisfactory Apdex.

GeekStorage won the gold because it has passed both benchmark tests (Uptime and Satisfactory Apdex) and had the best Full page load time (0.92 sec) among the hosts which have also passed both benchmarks. Well done!

A2Hosting was quite close to the winner, but being a little bit slower (0.99 sec) made it the second. Very good!

Squidix was very close to the first two in regards hosting speed (1.1 sec). Very good third place!

HawkHost, being a much more affordable host than the leaders, performed comparatively very well (1.28 seconds full page load time). It has passed all the benchmark tests. The solid fourth place in general standings and the first place in the budget hosting category!

Other hosts have not passed the uptime or Satisfactory Apdex benchmarks which are set to determine the best of the best hosting. Anyway, some of the hosts below performed pretty well.

InMotionHosting was very fast thin month (0.83 sec) could have become a winner of this Contest if it had a very little bit better uptime to pass the benchmark. But for now it got only the fifth place in general standings.

VeeroTech was pretty fast (1.27 sec). But its uptime which is less than the benchmark did not let it stand higher in the rating. The sixth place in general standings and the second in the budget hosting category in this month!

StableHost being also a budget host performed quite well (its speed was 1.49 sec and very good uptime). However, since its Satisfactory Apdex was a bit below the highest standards, it did not go higher in this month rating. The seventh place in general standings and the third place in the budget hosting category.

Eleven2 was quite fast (1.54 sec), but its lower uptime did not meet the standards.

GlowHost was not very fast (2.4 sec) compared to others, so only the last place in this Contest.

Conclusion

Thus, the best hosts which have demonstrated amazing performance in May 2016 are the three leaders: GeekStorage, A2Hosting and Squidix. All three leaders are from the higher pricing category.

The three winners in the budget hosting category are HawkHost, VeeroTech and StableHost.


P.S.: Past and future Hosting Performance Contest results are (and will be) published on this page.
Also, you can see real-time performance charts of the hosts I monitor as well as historical data on the hosting performance on this page.
Other monthly roundups of this Hosting Performance Contest are available here.
And my recommended hosts are here.

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